Extended reading: Matthew 27:51-66 Jesus’ burial, guards by the stone
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”(which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
Jesus had endured such pain and sorrow but the most difficult moment he had was the agony of separation from God when he took on my sin. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Still the mockery continued. He was offered vinegar to drink. Some in the crowd were curious. What’s going to happen next? Will Elijah come to save him? The darkness that had come over the land in the middle of the afternoon had to have been ominous.
God’s ways are higher than our ways. He had a plan far beyond human imagination. At the moment Jesus cried out again and gave up His Spirit the curtain that had separated people, other than the high priests, was torn in the earthquake. The curtain that had hidden the holiest of places, the very presence of God, was torn and the barrier between God and mankind was removed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! God’s presence was now accessible to all.
Heavenly Father, We thank you for loving us so much that you made a way for us to be in fellowship with you as you had planned from the beginning. Help us to not take for granted the sacrifice made on our behalf. Please Lord help me to stay faithful, to abide in you, study your word, and follow the ways of your Holy Son, Jesus Christ, in whom we pray. Amen